Construction Insurance: Tendering Your Claim to the Correct Carrier, Understanding Carriers' Right to Allocate to Others

Navigating Indemnity, Contribution and Subrogation to Determine the Appropriate Liability Allocation

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will provide guidance to counsel to contractors and developers on allocation of defense and indemnity exposure between a contractor’s direct coverage and additional insured coverage provided by subcontractors. The panel will focus on the interplay between subrogation and contribution and how to determine which principle applies to appropriately allocate coverage. The program will also explain issues in the context of insurers at different coverage levels as well as the interplay of self-insured retention.


One of the more complex and contentious issues in construction risk is the allocation of defense and indemnity between a contractor’s direct  coverage and the additional insured coverage provided by its subcontractors, whether the claim is a construction defect or personal injury.  

Insurers seek to minimize liability or offset recovery from other insurance sources. Allocation impacts loss runs for policyholders as well as their payment of SIRs. The key to allocation between direct and additional insured coverage are the principles of contribution and subrogation, so counsel must understand the differences between the two.

Allocation is further complicated when losses must be allocated between carriers not on the same level of coverage, as is often the case in construction risk claims.

Listen as our panel offers their perspectives and analysis on the allocation of defense and indemnity exposure based on differences between contribution and subrogation, its impact on allocation between direct insurers and additional insured carriers, and allocation of loss coverage between carriers not on the same level of coverage.



  1. Choosing the policy to tender your claim to that is best for your client
    1. Based on the time the policy is issued
    2. The client’s self-insured retentions
    3. Policies the client didn’t purchase, naming the client as an “additional insured”
  2. The chosen carrier’s right to allocate and seek contribution from other insurers
    1. Contribution with other insurers for the client
    2. Pursuing others that owe indemnity to the client (subrogation)
    3. Whether excess or umbrella insurance may be pursued
  3. Tactics and a discussion between policyholder and carrier coverage counsel regarding strategies—and traps to avoid.


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the differences between principles of contribution and subrogation and how do these principles determine allocation between direct and additional insured insurers?
  • How do courts treat “other insurance” clauses in determining appropriate allocation between direct and additional insured insurers?
  • What principles apply when the insurance carriers are at different levels of coverage?
  • How does allocation between direct and additional insured insurers impact the contractor’s payment of SIRs?


Theresa A. Guertin, Esq.
Theresa A. Guertin, Esq.

Saxe Doernberger & Vita

Ms. Guertin advocates on behalf of policyholders and serves a wide variety of clients, including both national and...  |  Read More

John H. Podesta
John H. Podesta

Murchison & Cumming

Mr. Podesta focuses his practice in the areas of insurance coverage and bad faith, business litigation, and general...  |  Read More

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